Lindsey Ruddins
UCSB’s Lindsey Ruddins hammers the ball past Hawai’i blockers Skyler Williams (8) and McKenna Ross. (Felipe Garcia / Noozhawk photo)

The UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball team lost its first match since the opening weekend of the season and had its 13-match winning streak snapped after a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) sweep at the hands of No. 19 Hawai’i on Saturday night in the Thunderdome.

It was also the first conference loss for UCSB (15-2, 5-1 Big West) while the Rainbow Wahine (14-3, 4-2 Big West) bounced back from a 3-0 loss at first-place Cal Poly on Friday.

Hawai’i outhit the Gauchos .286 (44-14-105) to .175 (34-16-103), the lowest hitting percentage for UCSB since Sept. 7 at VCU. Down two of its key players to injury, the Rainbow Wahine came out with a lot of energy and showcased a tough defense.

Lindsey Ruddins produced a 12-kill, 11-dig double-double, and was the only Gaucho in double-figures as younger sister Gigi Ruddins tallied the next most with seven.  

Despite UCSB jumping out to an early 7-3 lead in the first set, and leading 13-10 midway through, UH flipped the script with a 5-0 run and led the rest of the way to take the opening frame 25-20.

UH ramped up its attack in the second set with 17 kills and just three errors to hit .452, outhitting the Gauchos, who hit a strong .333. Both teams went back-and-forth, trading points in the game, until with the score tied 22-22, Hawai’i rattled off three straight with a pair of kills from McKenna Ross and a service ace from Bailey Choy.

The third set featured more seesaw action as UCSB and UH battled out to a 13-13 score, before the Rainbow Wahine broke away on a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Hanna Helvig and Ross led UH with 14 and 12 kills, respectively.

Zoe Fleck finished with a team-high 12 digs for the Gauchos while Olivia Lovenberg and Romoni Vivao dished out 15 assists apiece. Deni Wilson recorded a game-high four blocks at the net.

UCSB will look to bounce back in a showdown with Blue-Green rival Cal Poly next Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome in a battle for first place.